WBEZ | funeral http://www.wbez.org/tags/funeral Latest from WBEZ Chicago Public Radio en Chicago remembers teen victim of city gun violence http://www.wbez.org/news/chicago-remembers-teen-victim-city-gun-violence-105447 <img typeof="foaf:Image" src="http://llnw.wbez.org/main-images/Funeral2.jpg" alt="" /><p><p>Hundreds of mourners and dignitaries, including first lady Michelle Obama, stood and applauded the family of a 15-year-old Chicago girl for their strength Saturday, a week and a half after her death brought national attention to the city&#39;s staggering gun violence.</p><p>One speaker after another at Saturday&#39;s funeral remembered Hadiya Pendleton as more than a symbol, but as a girl who had dreams, joked with her friends and loved school and performing as a majorette with the group that performed at events surrounding President Barack Obama&#39;s inauguration just days before her death on Jan. 29. Police say Pendleton was an innocent victim in a gang-related shooting.</p><p><span id="_oneup">Her godfather, Damon Stewart, said some people on Facebook had asked what made Hadiya&#39;s death noteworthy when more than 40 people had already been slain in Chicago this year &mdash; many without so much as a mention in local newspapers. The answer, Stewart told the packed South Side church, was obvious.</span></p><p><span id="_oneup">&quot;She&#39;s important because all those other people who died are important,&quot; Stewart said. &quot;She&#39;s important because all of those lives and voices of those families who were ignored, she now speaks for them. ... I don&#39;t believe in coincidence. God needed an angel. God needed to send somebody for us to change.&quot;</span></p><p><span id="_oneup">Michelle Obama met privately with the family before the service and then accompanied the girl&#39;s mother to the open casket at the front of the church. Obama, who grew up on Chicago&#39;s South Side, put her arm around Cleopatra Pendleton and patted her back. The woman threw her head back and wailed as the lid of her daughter&#39;s flower-strewn casket was closed.</span></p><p><span id="_oneup">Moments later, the hundreds in attendance rose to their feet to begin the service with a round of applause &quot;to the strength of this family.&quot; Then, the choir began to sing so loud the floor shook.</span></p><p><span id="_oneup">Some of Illinois</span>&#39; most recognizable politicians and clergy were in attendance, including Chicago Mayor Rahm Emanuel, U.S. Rep. Bobby Rush and the Rev. Jesse Jackson. But Pendleton&#39;s family says her Saturday funeral service was not about politics &mdash; it was about remembering a girl who loved to dance, who once appeared in an anti-gang video.</p><p><span id="_oneup">None of the dignitaries was slated to speak Saturday. Instead, close friends, holding back tears, got up to remember her. One of them said she felt Hadiya was &quot;still here with us, whispering the answers in chemistry.&quot; The captain of the King College Prep majorettes presented Cleopatra Pendleton with her team jacket.</span></p><p><span id="_oneup">Father Michael Pfleger, a prominent Chicago pastor, said Hadiya was the face of an &quot;epidemic of violence causing funeral processions around the country.&quot;</span></p><p><span id="_oneup">&quot;Sisters and brothers, I beg you,&quot; he said. &quot;We must become like Jesus. We must become the interrupters of funeral processions.&quot;</span></p><p><span id="_oneup">Pendleton was shot and killed while she talked with friends after school at a park not far from the Obamas&#39; home in the Kenwood neighborhood. Police have said the shooting appears to be a case of mistaken identity involving gang members who believed the park was their territory. No charges have been filed.</span></p><p><span id="_oneup">Pendleton&#39;s death brought new attention to Chicago&#39;s homicide rate and the national debate over gun violence. Pendleton&#39;s slaying came in a January that was the city&#39;s deadliest in a decade. In 2012, Chicago recorded 506 homicides.</span></p><p><span id="_oneup">A glossy, eight-page funeral program included photos of Pendleton and details about her life, including her favorite foods &mdash; cheeseburgers, fig cookies, Chinese and ice cream &mdash; and the numerous school organizations she was involved in. The program also included a copy of a handwritten note from President Obama addressed to the girl&#39;s family.</span></p><p><span id="_oneup">&quot;Michelle and I just wanted you to know how heartbroken we are to have heard about Hadiya&#39;s passing,&quot; it reads. &quot;We know that no words from us can soothe the pain, but rest assured that we are praying for you, and that we will continue to work as hard as we can to end this senseless violence. God bless, Barack Obama.&quot;</span></p><p><span id="_oneup">Other dignitaries at the service were Gov. Pat Quinn, U.S. Education Secretary Arne Duncan and White House senior adviser Valerie Jarrett &mdash; all of whom are from Chicago.</span></p><p><span id="_oneup">Quinn mentioned Pendleton&#39;s death in his State of the State address earlier this week as he called for a ban on assault weapons and high-capacity ammunition magazines.</span></p><p><span id="_oneup">&quot;There are no words in the English language . or any language . to relieve the pain of parents who lose a child,&quot; Quinn said.</span></p></p> Sat, 09 Feb 2013 13:23:00 -0600 http://www.wbez.org/news/chicago-remembers-teen-victim-city-gun-violence-105447 Facebook's new thing, Obama's gun plan http://www.wbez.org/blogs/charlie-meyerson/2013-01/facebooks-new-thing-obamas-gun-plan-104946 <img typeof="foaf:Image" src="http://llnw.wbez.org/main-images/FB.jpg" alt="" /><p><p><a href="http://www.flickr.com/photos/thos003/5986220278/" title="Facebook at Mozcon - Alex by Thos003, on Flickr"><img align="right" alt="Facebook at Mozcon - Alex" height="212" src="http://farm7.staticflickr.com/6148/5986220278_9635614fc2_n.jpg" width="320" /></a></p><p><strong>FACEBOOK&#39;S NEW THING.</strong>&nbsp;Its search box, until now mostly useless, is about to become&nbsp;<a href="http://www.poynter.org/latest-news/mediawire/200731/finally-a-real-search-function-for-facebook/">a lot more useful</a>&nbsp;as Facebook tries a new way to&nbsp;<a href="http://allthingsd.com/20130115/graph-search-facebooks-way-of-keeping-you-inside-of-facebook/">keep you from ever leaving Facebook</a>.<br />* And it&#39;s&nbsp;<a href="http://www.wired.com/business/2013/01/the-inside-story-of-graph-search-facebooks-weapon-to-challenge-google">a little scary</a>.<br />* But&nbsp;<a href="http://www.ubergizmo.com/2013/01/facebook-graph-search-in-limited-beta-heres-how-to-sign-up-for-it/">you can&#39;t have it yet</a>.</p><p><strong>OBAMA&#39;S GUN PLAN.&nbsp;</strong>The president&#39;s unholstering <a href="http://www.politico.com/story/2013/01/obama-guns-plan-to-include-trafficking-law-86260.html?hp=t1_3">some wide-ranging gun-violence proposals</a> -- from universal background checks for all new gun owners to anti-bullying measures in the nation&#39;s schools.<br />* Axelrod: President won&#39;t get everything he wants, but <a href="http://www.suntimes.com/17598309-761/axelrod-despite-nra-congress-will-take-some-action-on-gun-issues.html">will get some things</a> despite NRA objections.<br />* New York state passes <a href="http://www.google.com/hostednews/ap/article/ALeqM5gitItf1eSFhVNcRkSUlZzXnnESxg?docId=a0f1e93e28ed4514919737f2a76c0a05">first gun-control law since Connecticut massacre</a>.<br />* <em>Salon:</em> Man who helped save six kids in Newtown now <a href="http://www.salon.com/2013/01/15/this_man_helped_save_six_children_is_now_getting_harassed_for_it/">getting harassed for it</a>.</p><p><strong>&#39;I AM DRAINED FROM CRYING.&#39;</strong>&nbsp;After attending the funeral for celebrated computer hacker Aaron Swartz,&nbsp;<a href="http://www.wbez.org/news/culture/after-aaron-104940">WBEZ&#39;s Robin Amer files a first-person report</a>: &quot;I am thinking about what it means to be a suicide survivor.&quot;<br />*&nbsp;<a href="https://soundcloud.com/wbez/from-the-archives-aaron-swartz">Swartz in 2001 WBEZ interview</a>, when he was 14: &quot;Computers and humans will be working together.&quot;<br />* Father: Swartz was &quot;<a href="http://www.suntimes.com/business/17594002-420/aaron-swartz-memorialized-at-service.html">killed by the government</a>.&quot;<br />* Swartz case <a href="http://news.cnet.com/8301-13578_3-57564212-38/prosecutor-in-aaron-swartz-hacking-case-comes-under-fire/">prosecutor now under investigation herself</a>.</p><p>&#39;<strong>WE SCREWED UP.&#39;&nbsp;</strong><em>The Atlantic</em> <a href="http://mediadecoder.blogs.nytimes.com/2013/01/15/the-atlantic-apologizes-for-scientology-ad/">apologizes for running a Scientology ad</a> that looked like a normal online article. It says it&#39;s &quot;<a href="https://www.magnetmail.net/actions/email_web_version.cfm?recipient_id=699462885&amp;message_id=2459857&amp;user_id=NJG_Atlan&amp;group_id=0&amp;jobid=12656579">working very hard to put things right</a>.&quot;<br />* <em>The Onion:</em> &quot;<a href="http://www.theonion.com/articles/sponsored-the-taliban-is-a-vibrant-and-thriving-po,30910/">SPONSORED: The Taliban Is A Vibrant And Thriving Political Movement</a>.&quot;</p><p><strong>&#39;HE&#39;D HAVE HATED ... ANYONE TALKING ABOUT HIM IN MOURNFUL TONES.&#39;&nbsp;</strong><em>Tribune</em>&nbsp;columnist&nbsp;<a href="http://www.chicagotribune.com/news/columnists/ct-met-kass-0116-20130116,0,3300856.column">John Kass marks the death of his radio partner</a>, Jim Edwards, known on the air as Jake Hartford.</p><p><strong>NOT BUYING WHAT ARMSTRONG&#39;S PEDALING.&nbsp;</strong><a href="http://www.cbsnews.com/8301-18563_162-57564168/cbs-news-government-rejects-armstrongs-$5m-restitution-offer/">CBS News reports</a>&nbsp;the U.S. government is rejecting Lance Armstrong&#39;s offer to pay $5 million in reparations to the federal government for doping while his team took $30 million from the U.S. Postal Service under a sponsorship deal that banned doping.<br />*&nbsp;<a href="http://abcnews.go.com/Sports/wireStory/winfrey-armstrong-interview-intense-18222607">Tougher confession</a>&nbsp;may be yet to come.</p><p><strong>DREAM OFF. </strong>Another technical glitch for another 787 passenger jet has prompted <a href="http://news.yahoo.com/japan-787-makes-emergency-landing-due-battery-012759722--finance.html">an emergency landing in Japan</a>&nbsp;and a decision by two Japanese airlines to <a href="http://www.chicagotribune.com/news/sns-rt-us-boeing-anabre90f018-20130115,0,4513844.story">ground all their Dreamliners</a> -- another bad omen for Chicago-based Boeing.</p><hr /><p><em>How&#39;s this blog working for you? Your comments welcome. <a href="mailto:Meyerson+WBEZ@gmail.com?subject=How%20you're%20doin'"><strong>Email us</strong></a>.</em></p></p> Wed, 16 Jan 2013 05:00:00 -0600 http://www.wbez.org/blogs/charlie-meyerson/2013-01/facebooks-new-thing-obamas-gun-plan-104946 Thousands gather for Chicago firefighter's funeral http://www.wbez.org/news/thousands-gather-chicago-firefighters-funeral-103762 <p><p>A 32-year-veteran of the Chicago Fire Department who was killed battling a house fire is being laid to rest.</p><p>Thousands of uniformed firefighters and police officers and scores of friends and family members of Herbert &quot;Herbie&quot; Johnson watched as a fire truck bearing Johnson&#39;s casket pulled in front of a church on the city&#39;s Southwest Side on Thursday.</p><p>There, Mayor Rahm Emanuel joined firefighters as the casket, draped in a Chicago flag, was lowered from the truck.</p><p>One after another, firefighters talked of the immensely popular 54-year-old father of three, who seemed to know everybody in the department.</p><p>The day before, mourners filed into the same church for a wake, some waiting in line for nearly an hour to get inside to pay their respects.</p></p> Thu, 08 Nov 2012 15:15:00 -0600 http://www.wbez.org/news/thousands-gather-chicago-firefighters-funeral-103762 Pastors protest Illinois cut to burials for poor http://www.wbez.org/story/pastors-protest-illinois-cut-burials-poor-88749 <img typeof="foaf:Image" src="http://llnw.wbez.org/story/photo/2011-July/2011-07-05/AP11021718140.jpg" alt="" /><p><p>A group of Chicago pastors is protesting cuts to a $15 million state program that pays for funerals and burials for the poor.&nbsp;</p><p>Pastors United for Change says the program pays funeral homes and cemeteries when families on public aid can't afford the cost.&nbsp;</p><p>The Rev. Roosevelt Watkins of Bethlehem Star Church says Gov. Pat Quinn should use discretionary money to help fund the program.&nbsp;</p><p>The Rev. Ira Acree of Greater St. John Bible Church predicts "a national embarrassment" if bodies pile up "in President Barack Obama's home state."</p><p>Cook County pays for the mass burial of unclaimed bodies. But the pastors say the county doesn't pay for funerals and can't afford to pay for any more burials.</p></p> Tue, 05 Jul 2011 18:56:00 -0500 http://www.wbez.org/story/pastors-protest-illinois-cut-burials-poor-88749